Trask Smith

Houston Dynamo defense stands resolute against "dynamic" FC Dallas attack

The lion’s share of attention from the Houston Dynamo’s huge 5-0 win over FC Dallas on Saturday night went to the offense, and deservedly so. It was just the third five-goal game in franchise history, as well as the largest margin of victory.

The latter part doesn’t happen without a shutout performance on the defensive end, a week after allowing three goals and a heartbreaking equalizer in extra time.

“It’s a huge confidence boost going forward,” goalkeeper Joe Willis told media after the game. “You always want a shutout and not give up goals. And to be able to score five on top of that, and against Dallas of all things, it’s great.”

It was the first shutout against Dallas since 2011, with the North Texas side scoring three goals or more in all but one match since the last Dynamo in 2012.

“We knew that we were going up against a very dynamic offense this week,” defender David Horst said. “We watched film and we knew what we had to do to shut their wingers down. I thought [DaMarcus] Beasley and Jalil Anibaba did a fantastic job on those guys.

[Alex] Lima was a very unsung hero in the middle for us. Between him and Rico [Clark], they did a great job on shutting down [Mauro] Diaz. If you shut down Diaz you shut down their offense because he is pulling all the strings, he is playing all the balls.”

Indeed, it was a total team effort from the Dynamo to keep Dallas off the scoresheet—perhaps epitomized by MLS Player of the Week Andrew Wenger sprinting to catch speedster Fabian Castillo down the sideline and picking his pocket with a tackle.



FC Dallas was able to put six shots on target, but only a few seriously tested Willis in goal, and none before the game was already out of hand. But Willis, in place of the injured Tyler Deric, did his job when called upon to keep a clean sheet—including a Save of the Week-nominated double save just out of halftime.

“The guys and I knew that the guys in front of me all worked so hard throughout the entire game and I wasn’t going to be the one to let them down.”